“Not everything that can be counted counts.
Not everything that counts can be counted.”
In the world of contemporary education, what weight should you, as a parent, give the report card and how should you discuss it with your child? Setting the tone for how your child will view this document will stick with them for years to come. Report cards are not meant to provoke angst or stress amongst the children or their families. They are a way of communicating, in black and white, a student’s strengths, successes and challenges; a way to celebrate your child’s learning and growth. It is easy to get caught up with letting the numbers define your child’s success in the classroom, but it is important to focus on the bigger picture. With that in mind, here are some ideas that you might want to consider doing in your home:
- Consider the report a snapshot on your child’s long journey of education. Talk about what your child feels are their strengths and how they use them.
- Help your child see the things they struggle with as challenges to rise to, measuring success by growth, not by what their peers are doing.
- Look to work habits and social skills first, reminding your child that when you pay more attention to these, everything else will make more sense.
- Use the subject areas as conversation starters to hear about what your child’s experience and perspective is, and how they interpret success and challenges.
- Take the time to find out what comments resonate with your child and help them decide how they can help to shape future behaviour and goals, brainstorming opportunities to practice skills and apply abilities.
- Always, always, always remember that a past report card is not indicative or a predictor of future success,but a touchstone for growth, a reason to celebrate and a chance to reflect with your child.
Remember that a knowledge base begins with concrete experiences and right now your child is having those experiences to later draw on when working with abstract concepts. Remember that the ability to be a good friend in tricky social situations develops over time and your child is practicing their role in a variety of situations. The students see their teachers as resources, people they can go to help find the right materials, help solve problems and to look to for guidance. But the teachers are not the holders of education – that belongs to the student. Ownership of the learning they do lies within themselves.
Enjoy celebrating your child’s success with them! Remember to look at this report card as a way to help them refine their practice, hone their skills and highlight just how special they are as an individual!